Processed foods make us fat – Washington Post

Found this article today, How Processed food makes us fat. More vegan options are becoming available, and although they are plant-based, it doesn’t mean that they are healthier for us in the long run. Yes, it’s better to have vegan processed foods as opposed to animal based processed foods, but it doesn’t take away the fact that they, nonetheless, processed foods, and are still unhealthy.

 

Chocolate, RIP

So it’s been a while since my last update here. Needless to say, a lot has happened. The biggest update has do do with Chocolate. She passed in November during the Thanksgiving break. It’s been hard on us.

We now have a new companion, Peppernoof. We call her Pepper for short. She is approximately 2 years old and mixed breed – terrier mostly. She was a stray from North Carolina and the Providence Animal Center rescued her, and in turn, we brought her home. She still has some PTSD from being on the streets, but she and Shazam are getting along great. They are playing a lot and she has been awesome. Shazam selected her. But I don’t think Shazam had any idea how much she likes to play–Pepper doesn’t know how to stop playing. I think they are getting more comfortable with each other.

Pepper has helped, but we still miss Chocolate’s barking and overall innocence. We had her for 13 years and since she was a puppy. For the about ten of those years she was our only companion. She was with Bernadette since Bernadette was 2 and Elizabeth has always been with her.

A friend told me something that touched me in a text as I was explaining the story of how we lost Chocolate, “our hearts grow each time we love. What’s real is love, and that, in any space, makes the world a beautiful place. I’m sorry for your loss, but thank you for adding love to the world.”

We can make the world a better place through the love we give. Chocolate made our world a better place.

Vegan Coconut Curry

Here’s a recipe I encountered that was such a big hit that it was asked by my family to be in the regular meal rotation. This recipe is an adoption from America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Cookbook. And by the way, it’s not a vegan cookbook, but it has some great vegan recipes in it and recipes that can easily be adopted. I strongly recommend it.

I served mine over rice. The recipe below is for the curry only. When prepping dishes like this, and they are served with rice, I usually begin the rice first and monitor it as I’m preparing the main dish, which is this case is the curry. Step one is always prepare the rice.

Ingredients

 

Ingredients Quantity
Tomatoes 2
Olive oil 2-4 tablespoons
Curry Powder 2 teaspoons
Garam masala 1 1/2 teaspoons
Onions 2 (diced)
Red potatoes (small) 4 (diced)
Garlic cloves 4 (crushed)
Fresh Ginger Small knob, 1/2 inch (diced)
Tomato paste 1 tablespoon
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Water 1 1/2 cups
Frozen peas 1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk 1/2 can, or full can if you really like coconut
Salt 1/4 teaspoons

Instructions

  1. Put tomatoes in blender or food processor until chunky, with some pieces still visible. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add curry, garam masala and cook for about 10 seconds. Stir on onions, potatoes, salt. Cook and stir for about ten minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Add cauliflower and stir well until florets are covered in spices.
  4. Gradually stir in water and scrape the bottom. Stir in chickpeas and processed tomatoes. Cover and bring to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  5. Uncover and stir in peas and milk. Cook for two minutes until peas thaw.

When I cooked it I added a can of coconut milk. It was really strong – but delicious. I would stick with the 1/2 can.

Enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

I’m preparing Thanksgiving meal for a lot of people this year. Normally I’ll do acorn squash dishes, which are cute, but for a lot of people it might be difficult, and might not make a good main for people accustomed to a grand centerpiece. So instead, I’m focusing on fall colors, and thinking of a collection of dishes a little closer to a traditional thanksgiving meal. For the centerpiece I might go with oven roasted cauliflower covered in a ginger tomato sauce surrounded by umami infused chickpeas. This will make a beautiful and delicious plant-based center. Oh, and yeah, can’t forget the chili. That will steal the show.

But the center is only one portion of the entire feast. There will be a variety of tastes and I’ll be cooking for non-vegans, so I need to think of comfort foods. Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving comfort food. I’ve begun combing the interwebs for some recipes and here are two I found I’ll be experimenting with:

Regarding the second recipe, I’m interested in the pumpkin based goopy cheese. I think that has other applications.

I’ll let you know how they work.

 

 

 

 

 

As the screws tighten…

The “witch” in the hunt might have been found–at least that’s what Michael Cohen’s plea deal indicates.

Cohen pleaded under oath, and without any pressure, that “the candidate” gave him instructions to pay hush money to women for the purposes of influencing the election. This is a violation of campaign finance laws.

If Trump wasn’t president, he would be indicted based on the Cohen’s plea deal alone. Cohen was only the messenger here, and in a crime of this nature it’s not the messenger the feds are after–its the one who gave the order.

Mueller has more up his sleeve and Cohen has more cards to play, hence the plea and the quick resolution to this small but important part of the investigation. The implication was just the beginning.

And let’s not forget about Manafort. His case was never about taxes as much as it was about access. He represents loose connections to the other side of the equation. And he was found guilty in front of a jury.

This whole thing is just warming up.